I had shut myself up within myself. I don't know why. It was a habit. After finding the clear light and resting in it, I was reborn, timelessly. I faced myself in the infinite mirror and was astounded by what I saw: the limitlessness! Bravely, I stepped forth again and again, face-first into the battering waves. There was something to be found out. I became an intruder, stepping out of the comfort zone of the known. Intrusiveness became the habit. Now I have no problem with it. I step onto streets with eyes closed and arms far-reaching. If there is a huge, stagnant pool of filthy water fed by broken sewage pipes, I will step into it. Though the inhabitants themselves might avoid wetting their feet for fear of sickness and death, I cannot afford fear on this journey. If something can be found out and a true moment shared, then, dangerously dancing along a thin line, I will do it.


I have no qualms, for it is these that bind me. I cannot believe what meets the eye, so I remove my eyes to see better, to see beyond. I undress and unwind, even though it stings my skin to be watched so continuously. Gathering my children around me, I reveal their blindness too, and that of my sisters. Eyes are nothing in themselves. So we turn back, trying to find the beginning, not looking outward, seeing within. We dance around ourselves, roaring through gaping mouths, tearing at our breasts. It is a show and it shows us something. Every day must be dealt with, but how?


The earth splits and opens up in innumerable cracks. It is grazed, leeched of water. An unnamable animal struggles at the shores of nothingness and ponders, Where did that water go? How fast did it go? Will it ever return to feed the channels and banks? On all fours, running, running. Tiring, stumbling, carrying the weight of thousands. Standing, failing, falling, plugging deep into the cracked surface. There is nothing there. Only a forgotten, dark moistness underneath. Pain is pain; it should be removed. If I could take on the pain of the earth, I would. But I am just a wandering animal-thing, helplessly caught in my own game. When I and my kind have finally sucked the earth dry and abused all life-forms into non-existence, where can I wander then?


Dried up, left over, over and done, and again I am trying for a true moment. I wander endlessly hither and fro. I meet the thousands hurrying in the same direction, away from the evil that rules their country, a madman bringing ruin to the dry lands. Breathlessly, we arrive in a no-place. No name, no passport, no belongings, no comfort. We stop to rest in a church and begin to live there, for a while, just for a while. At night, many lie on the streets, and there are rumors of rape. But we try to come up with a system. The prevailing system wants us out and denies us our right to live by disabling our right to work. There are attacks from the 'neighbours'; it is worse than 'back home'. Then strangers arrive, distribute t-shirts printed with a poem, and replace us, lying down instead of us on the ground. How strange. Empty of manipulative tactics, complicated agendas and agitations, the shared moment in its simplicity is a balm for all our hearts. It cools our heated minds and carries us away to a different place, where things are better, where we rest in a sense of sameness.


After lying for ages, surrounded by the sound of astounded laughter, I am heartily embraced by throngs of men and women alike. I stand with my back to a fence, fenced out. I am rooted to the ground and stuck on the fence, like a tree grown there, having merged with the meshed wire. Around me are sounds, voices, a cacophony of cars and sirens mixed with inebriating urban slang. I am in the big city. They are writing on my back: Are you crazy? What is the problem with this guy? Love him for what he does. They almost refuse my gift: a small packet of my hair, a snip of my shirt. Suspiciously, they eye it: What is this going to do to me? Having delivered myself to them, I have no choice but to bear the brunt of their remarks, their skepticism, their interest. I am now a marked man. Time has done this to me. History has left ugly welts on my skin, on the skin of our minds.


But deep within, there is another truth quivering to get out. I run for it, on the move again. Copper-coloured gold shimmers around me. I whisper and walk gently, carrying a trophy of pure gold burning like a small fire in my hand. It makes me a precious carrier. I kiss the others and stroke them softly. Moaning, I lay on the ground as if to give birth. I am a mother let loose. Tongue-tied, I have no words but many feelings, which drift into the spacious halls and mingle with the images by other artists adorning the high walls. I wish to meet these objects of desire and longing, to merge my body with their message and make it come alive. I flitter along the corridors and greet the guests, a mad, delighted hostess eating her gold, smearing it in her hair, skipping and tripping over her copper-coloured robe, bringing smiles to the faces.


I would love for this to be a lovely place. If only we knew how, we would create a different world, filled with magical forests, cascading waterfalls glittering like diamonds, and the evasive calls of paradise birds. Our clothes would be seamless, delightful to wear. Borderless, we would call each other neighbour. From the day of joyful birth until the moment of peaceful death, each of our perfect wishes would be fulfilled. We would make marks that everyone could read. Not a single soul would be left out of the equation. Instead, I write in the air, in fire-pitted rooms, overlooking deserts and city landscapes. I beckon to the winds to clear things away. I am amazed. I document, express, endure and confront this outrageous reality. Everything is reflected as in a shining, multifaceted mirror, so that in the end, it can never be guessed what came into being, nor when, if ever, it did.


I dance on—outrageously, mindlessly—a powerful tool. I am uninterested in what is 'good' or 'bad', nor do I yearn for concrete answers to concrete questions. All that matters to me is producing results on deeper levels of human consciousness which has intellectual, emotional, functional, philosophical and spiritual value, tallying the beneficial and the harmful. I walk into a field, black and white shapes, different forms. I pluck one off its stem and fit it to my body, enduring its heat. Slowly my body drips to the floor and becomes one with matter. This is what counts. Bereaved, I recall the victims of bewilderment. I put myself in their place to become one with a solution. Standing at the gates of hell, I attempt to transcend. I am an intruder.


© Mwangi Hutter, 2013

Written for Intruders on pages 8-13.

MWANGI HUTTER

Intrusion by Mwangi Hutter